Resource Library

Best-selling author and psychologist Madeline Levine will speak on Tuesday, February 12, at the 2013 ACA National Conference. With nearly thirty years of experience as a clinician, consultant, and educator, Levine has shared insights on youth development and success on the national stage; she has appeared on television shows such as The Early Show and The Today Show as well as on local and national radio stations, including NPR’s The Diane Rhem Show and Forum. She is a former camper and the mother of three sons who all attended camp.

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The following case study is based on a real-life situation at a camp for girls in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. I have altered the names of the specific campers and some identifying information to protect their privacy.

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There’s an old joke that starts, “A pig fell in the mud . . .” and while mud at camp can provide a fine program opportunity, there’s nothing funny about mud tracking into all of the indoor program and living spaces. Also, mud in waterways and streams can quickly lower water quality and attract the attention of all sorts of uninvited guests (like insects and regulators). This month, by examining how mud is created, we’ll be able to devise strategies to reduce or even eliminate it.

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Dear Bob,

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Happy Camping, Y'all!
Published Date: 2018-05-01

Being a camp counselor is hard, but it’s the best and most rewarding work you’ll ever do. As someone who spent 17 summers at camp as a camper, counselor-in-training, cabin counselor, lifeguard, horseback wrangler, arts and crafts coordinator, and an assistant director, I can promise your time at camp will be well worth it. There will be early mornings, rainy days, and long nights, but the summers you spend as a camp counselor will stay with you forever and provide countless stories that will always make you want to go back.

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Working Your Plan

After outlining the basic elements of a strategic plan and discussing a process that engages your key stakeholder groups, we now concentrate on the tools necessary to assist you in the implementation of your plan. As my father told me, "plan your work and work your plan." Now it’s time to create a process to "work your plan."

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Staff training? Check. Nametags ready? Check. Ready to do a great job? Check. Campers are here? Check. It is my first day of camp and I am ready to put everything they taught us into action. I will be the hero and the campers will love me. I am their role model, right? I am older. I know more. I am mature, and I am ready!

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Camp: An Antidote to Stress?
Published Date: 2016-11-01

At a recent gathering, a group of camp professionals were talking about stress. They mentioned how it seemed fairly pervasive among campers and staff, sometimes at debilitating levels. Then they said that for some youth, especially returning campers and staff, camp arrival triggered a huge sigh of relief and seemingly low stress levels. Exuberant comments like "I'm back!" and behaviors such as running pell-mell around camp provided solid testimony to their delight, a freeing of their spirit and a drop in their stress level. It took new people more time to experience that.

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I run two different camps for kids with different needs, including a resident camp for kids with autism. A concerned parent called to talk about how she wanted her son to be “mainstreamed” in the camp environment. By definition, there is no mainstreaming at my camp; they are all living with similar challenges.

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Paul Tough, author of How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, delivered a keynote speech on Thursday, February 14th, at the 2013 ACA National Conference. He is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and has been featured on television and radio stations like PBS, MSNBC, and NPR, and in TIME Magazine, USA Today, and the New York Times.

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